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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all,

Having lived in the UAE in 2008, I was really horrified to find old articles talking about the state of Dubai's beaches. Apparently companies were dumping raw sewage and other chemicals and it was being washed up on the beaches.
I was swimming there in June 2008 and it was crystal clear and I was never sick so I was so shocked to hear this happened in 2008.

Dubai's polluted beaches closed to public - Telegraph

What is the situation now? I do understand this was 3-4 years ago and alot can change but I just couldn t believe it happened around Jumeriah. :eek: Did it have a big impact on tourism as that would be so off putting? How could the authorities let it happen? Then again it sadly doesn t surprise me. When I lived in the UAE some people thought it was completely acceptable to just throw rubbish out of your car window as you drive by. I was laughed at for going to the bin by some people.

I hope its ok now. How is Al Mamzar beach? Hope that wasn t affected. This might well put me off being a beach bum in Dubai. LOL
 

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This was happening at the height of Dubai's consruction boom when the city was truly congested and most of the infrastructure still under construction. DOSC took the lead in monitoring the waters and regularly updated with reports at that time.

I don't know to what degree the disposal situation has changed but at that time there were a huge number of construction sites with temporary toilet facilities (for example I know that the Atlantis had to have their sewage carted away by tanker daily) which would be taken to the biological treatment site beyond Dragon Mart. You'd see massive queues of lorries, stretching for kilometres which of course made it very inefficient for the operation as for most of the time their lorry would be sitting in queue.

So a few would take the opportunity to short-cut by dumping their precious cargo into the storm water drainage system which as you know is intended to carry away rain water to the sea. For example I know for a fact that at one time the managers of Dubai Marina (this is going back to 2005-6) were seeing high levels of contaminants in the water which they couldn't explain as there was hardly anything there at that time, until that is a security guard caught a truck emptying its stuff into the marina in the early hours of the morning.

I regularly swim off a beach next to Jumeirah Beach park and haven't noticed any pollution for years. There was a red algae scare a few years back but I think that was off the east coast (Fujairah).

I also have to say that arrival statistics and hotel occupancy levels from 2003 - 2008 showed nothing but healthy growth, so no it didn't affect tourism even allowing for the fact that 50% of hotel guests over that period would have been here in business. But come the summer, the hotels would still show very healthy occupancies with Dubai's hotel beaches full of tourists in August something I could never understand as the weather is horrible at that time of year. I guess having little men running around with cold, wet towels and spraying you with Evian helps!

Also I think the area where the pollution took place is largely residential and there is a strong current off Dubai's coast so I would gess that the areas where the Dubai beach hotels were (to the South) was not that affected.

As for Mamzar beach, that was never affected since it is in a part of town which is not very built-up (on the border with with Sharjah) and, if you look on Google Earth, a series of artificially created lagoons, so the currents and stuff doesn't really get in there. I used to use the jet-ski lagoon which was lovely except for the afternoon when the jet skiers would come out. The beach park bit (the first lagoon) is even better.
 

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But please be cautious of current - I've read of deaths at JBR, the beach near Hilton?
(I think it's Hilton, the hotel opposite Tim Horton's)
 

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Marine ministry is small in the uae. It is growing and they are trying to undo years and years of damage that the complete disregard for the coastline caused. You can go out to the marine ministry and have a tour/look around. They are trying to breed back fish populations that have been overfished, as well as left the uae waters due to the disruption in the ecosystems, and they are actively trying to rebuild reefs in places that were ruined. Quite an interesting task and the marine biological team are quite knowledgable and passionate. If you're just after beach time, then maybe isnt so interesting trip out for you :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Marine ministry is small in the uae. It is growing and they are trying to undo years and years of damage that the complete disregard for the coastline caused. You can go out to the marine ministry and have a tour/look around. They are trying to breed back fish populations that have been overfished, as well as left the uae waters due to the disruption in the ecosystems, and they are actively trying to rebuild reefs in places that were ruined. Quite an interesting task and the marine biological team are quite knowledgable and passionate. If you're just after beach time, then maybe isnt so interesting trip out for you :)
Its so sad that this was allowed to happen. Then again it doesn't surprise me at all! Dubai is very act now and think of the consequences later. Even 2007 I could see that the growth and spending just couldn t continue and something was going to give. Everyone kept say "no its going to be fine, its Dubai......" Well I was proved right sadly.
Well lets hope they have learnt from their mistakes (both environmental and financial). I imagine the Dubai I will see in 2012 will be very different from the Dubai of 2007. Apparently alot of the buildings are actually finished or so I hear :)
 
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